NL Baseball Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

NL Baseball Preview:  Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

The NBA season has concluded but there’s still a busy weekend of sports action on tap featuring a full slate of baseball. In this preview we’ll take a look at the ‘Battle of Southern California’ in the National League as the Los Angeles Dodgers make the short trip to Petco Park in San Diego to take on the Padres. The Dodgers have been a profound disappointment this season both in the standings and at the betting window–they’re neck and neck with their crosstown neighbors, the Los Angeles Angeles, for the ignominious achievement of having lost more money for bettors than any other team in baseball. The Padres have been one of the hottest teams in baseball in the past month and after a slow start to the season are now in the mix to contend in the NL West.

From a handicapping standpoint this is a good opportunity to play the home team and a good lesson in why you can’t bet baseball based exclusively on the ‘name value’ of the starting pitcher. To put it another way, most lines and pointspreads are made to reflect public perception as much as anything else and we’ve got an extreme dichotomy in that area in today’s pitching matchup. The Dodgers’ Zack Grienke is a ‘big name’ while the Padres’ Edinson Volquez is a pitcher that few casual fans have heard of and most bettors have typically looked for opportunities to bet against. But when you look at their statistical breakdown it’s hard to discern any real advantage with the ‘name’ pitcher. Volquez is far from being a Cy Young candidate but Grienke is struggling this season and particularly on the road where he sports a hefty 7.45 ERA!

So with the pitching matchup effectively ‘canceling each other out’ the only focus is on the teams involved and that points to the Padres in a rout. San Diego has posted a 13-7 record in the month of June and has won 9 of their last 11 games. The Dodgers are 7-12 in June and have lost a ton of money on the road (-11.8 units) and have been absolutely destroyed by their NL West rivals posting a record of 9-23 for a loss of -22.5 units. We’ll play the better team on their home field at a reasonable price.